Management of the newborn infant affected by maternal opiates and other drugs of dependency

Authors

  • Julee Oei,

    1. Department of Newborn Care, Royal Hospital for Women, and School of Women’s and Children’s Health, University of New South Wales, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Kei Lui

    1. Department of Newborn Care, Royal Hospital for Women, and School of Women’s and Children’s Health, University of New South Wales, New South Wales, Australia
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Dr Kei Lui, Department of Newborn Care, Royal Hospital for Women, Barker Street, Randwick, NSW 2031, Australia. Fax: +61-2-9382-6191; email: luik@sesahs.nsw.gov.au

Abstract

Abstract:  Illicit drug use during pregnancy is common and probably underestimated in the majority of published studies. The infant exposed to opiates or other drugs of dependency during intrauterine development is at risk for post-natal withdrawal as well as to long-term problems that are associated with drug-effects and often, adverse social circumstances. This article examines the early management of the infant and mother for detection and monitoring of drug-exposure, pharmacological intervention for withdrawal and the management of associated, particularly infective and psychosocial, problems. Practical concerns surrounding these issues are discussed and further research on psychosocial intervention to improve long-term outcome are much needed.

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